The focus on defence production agreements during the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the US has irked the Left parties.
Warning the Government against the US designs of making India a strategic ally, the CPI (M) has urged the Prime Minister not to make the country dependant on the American weapons.
CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat alleged that there is an effort to step up the arms trade with the US.
“American arms companies are keen to sell us weapons. We have bought $8 billion worth of weapons in the last few years from America. There is an effort to step up this and the Government is trying to get some agreements on joint production also,” Karat told Business Line .
He said the Government’s decision to increase the FDI cap in defence production was taken to favour the US companies.
“This (FDI) is designed to see that American companies invest in India and set up defence production. This is not in India’s interest. We should not become dependant on supplies of arms from the US. It is well known that the US uses arms supplies and agreements for its widen strategic purposes. It sets various conditionalities,” Karat added.
He said the Pentagon was trying to make India into a military ally in Asia.
“Getting India involved in a comprehensive defence relationship, including arms supply and defence production, is a high-end priority to the Americans and we are responding to that. We are getting drawn into it,” Karat added.
Karat said no change in the Civilian Nuclear Liability Act should be made to suit the American interests. “We had passed a liability law which is in the interest of our country where the right to recourse against foreign suppliers can be undertaken. Americans say this will make it unviable for them commercially. So efforts are being made to somehow dilute and circumvent this law. We know that they are interested in finding a way to help the Americans out. But that cannot be done at the expense of a law,” Karat added.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is likely to seal the deal for the proposed nuclear power project with WestingHouse Electric Company (WEC).
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